Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary, Rome

The Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Form is a Roman Catholic Church in the centre of Rome, located near the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, next to Trajan’s Column.  The feast of this church was instituted by Pope Innocent XI after the victory of the Austria-Polish armies under the command of John III Sobieski over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Abbot Giuseppe Bianchi instituted devotion to the most holy name of Mary, 1685, at Santo Stefano del Cacco, and soon afterwards established the Congregation of the Most Holy Name of Mary, which was formally approved in 1688.

Opposite the church were the back doors of the monasteries of Saint’ Eufmia and Santo Spirito ai Monti. These were demolished for archaeological excavations even before the French occupation, in order to uncover the Basilica Ulpia of the Forum of Trajan. Thus the present, anomalous situation of the church was creater, whereby it looks over a vast excavation containing ancient Roman bits. The Second World War arguably saved the church from demolition since Fascist archaeologists suspected that the undiscovered Temple of Trajan lies underneath, however this assumption seems to be wrong. 

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